Luanda, Angola's capital city, may surprise expats not only with its natural beauty and pristine seafront promenade but also with its high cost of living. The city is experiencing an oil boom, and due to a lack of infrastructure to support the rapid growth, there is a shortage of good-quality housing.

The 2023 Mercer Cost of Living Survey ranks Luanda 30th out of the 227 cities surveyed. Only two other African cities appear higher on the list: Bangui, Central African Republic at 26th and Djibouti at 27th.


Cost of accommodation in Luanda

The cost of accommodation in Luanda is sky high, owing to a low supply of secure, quality housing in the city. Fortunately, it's common for employers bringing expats moving to Luanda on a company transfer to pay for housing. If the cost of accommodation isn't included in their relocation package, expats will need to ensure that their salary is large enough to cover the costs themselves.


Cost of transport in Luanda

Angola lacks quality and safe public transport, so expats moving to Luanda will need a personal vehicle to get around. Cars in Angola can be extremely costly, though. Luckily, some companies provide expat employees with a vehicle, fuel allowance and a driver. The condition of roads in Luanda and the culture of reckless driving means that drivers are a necessity and are relatively affordable.


Cost of groceries in Luanda

Food at Luanda's bigger supermarkets, such as Candando and Shoprite, is steep as most items are imported. Meat products are also highly costly, while the quality of the items is sometimes sub-par. That said, fresh produce, which is available from roadside stalls, is relatively cheap.


Cost of entertainment and eating out in Luanda

Entertainment and dining out in Luanda can be quite expensive, particularly for those accustomed to Western standards. High-end restaurants, bars, and clubs often charge prices on par with cities such as London or New York. For those seeking a more local experience, there are affordable local eateries that serve traditional Angolan fare.

The cost of recreational activities can also vary. Museums and cultural events are generally reasonably priced, while international concerts and performances can be rather expensive.


Cost of education in Luanda

Expats in Luanda with children should be prepared for high education costs. The local public school system is often viewed as inadequate, prompting many expats to opt for private or international schools. While offering a higher quality of education and more familiar curricula, these institutions come with a hefty price tag. Additional costs such as uniforms, textbooks, and extracurricular activities should also be considered.

It's recommended that those relocating negotiate an education allowance into their contract, as this is common practice for expat packages in Luanda.


Cost of healthcare in Luanda

Healthcare in Luanda is another area where expats can expect to spend a significant portion of their budget. The city's public healthcare system is under-resourced, and many prefer private medical facilities despite their high costs.

For most expats, comprehensive health insurance is considered a necessity to offset these costs. As such, it is advisable for those relocating to Luanda to secure health insurance coverage, ideally provided by their employer as part of the relocation package.


Cost of living in Luanda chart

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Luanda in June 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

AOA 4,000,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

AOA 610,000

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

AOA 260,000

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

AOA 56,000

Food and drink

Dozen eggs

AOA 1,690

Milk (1 litre)

AOA 770

Rice (1kg)

AOA 800

Loaf of white bread

AOA 1,030

Chicken breasts (1kg)

AOA 4,300

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

AOA 2,100

Eating out

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

AOA 42,000

Big Mac meal

AOA 5,400

Coca-Cola (330ml)

AOA 1,240

Cappuccino

AOA 2,600

Bottle of beer (local)

AOA 570

Utilities/household

Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

AOA 120

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

AOA 25,000

Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)

AOA 103,000

Transportation

Taxi rate/km

AOA 1,160

City-centre public transport fare

AOA 410

Gasoline (per litre)

AOA 280

Expat Health Insurance

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